Tag: steampunk

Book Review: Mist, Metal, and Ash, by Gwendolyn Clare

mist, metal, & ash
Image belongs to Imprint/Macmillan.

Title:  Mist, Metal, and Ash
Author:  Gwendolyn Clare
Genre:  YA, fantasy
Rating:  4.0 out of 5

In an alternate Italy, Elsa can create new worlds by writing in books. Special writing. Special books. Special talent…and one that puts her in danger when political extremists steal a book that can change the very nature of the world itself.

In the wake of a horrific betrayal, Elsa has one goal:  track down the book before the extremists can use it to wreak havoc. Getting revenge on her betrayer will be just a bonus. But Elsa doesn’t realize the secrets she’ll encounter along the way, some of which she’s even kept from herself.

I love steampunk, but I don’t actively seek it out—I don’t know why. I have not read the first book in this duology, Ink, Iron, and Glass, but I highly recommend doing that, as I spent the first third of the book being highly confused. I ended up loving the world and its nuances:  differences from our own, but some similarities, too. There’s a lot of action here, and a bit of romance, but it’s all woven together seamlessly. I like the intrigue with Casa as well.

Gwendolyn Clare is a scientist and a writer. Mist, Metal, and Ash is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Imprint/Macmillan via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

The Vile Desire to Scream, by Oisín McGann

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Oisín McGann.)
(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Oisín McGann.)

Oisín McGann is an Irish author and illustrator. After some exploratory employment, he decided that working as a security guard or in advertising wasn’t for him, so he returned to his first love (and Ireland). His newest offering, The Vile Desire to Scream, is a novella in his series of books in the Wildenstern Saga.

The Wildenstern family is all about power, money, and family loyalty. Unless, of course, another family member is in the way of climbing the ladder of success. Then it’s okay to kill that person and take their place. It’s just business, and as long as the Wildenstern men follow the rules, the family supports them. But removing a woman is against the rules. Even a woman that the rest of the family doesn’t like.

Daisy Wildenstern doesn’t have many friends in the family, and her open defiance of family tradition doesn’t help. When adventurer Peter Barnum arrives at the family mansion with a shape-shifting engimal for sale, Daisy is entranced. She’s not sure what the living machine does, but she wants it, despite her mother-in-law forbidding its purchase. The next morning, Daisy and the engimal are both missing, and it’s up to her brother-in-law Nate to find her, without the aid of the family that dislikes Daisy so much…and may be responsible for her disappearance in the first place.

The Vile Desire to Scream is set in the world of the Wildenstern Saga, and intriguing blend of family intrigue, living machines, and adventure. The family itself is larger than life, and this is a great introduction to the saga.

(Galley courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media via NetGalley.)